Getting certified as SSI Open Water Diver in Koh Tao

In my previous blog post, I wrote about how to choose a diving school and shared some of the first experiences. Here, I will tell the rest of the story.

At the end of day 2, we’ve had a bit more theory through SSI videos in the classroom. Then, the instructor gave us a short revision session and we were ready for the exam. The exam was a multiple choice 50 questions, and one has to get 41 correct to pass. I got 45 correct, so I passed.

On the last day, we started our dive at 8AM. After a reasonably long journey on a boat, we arrived at Chumphon Pinnacle. It was surrounded by diving boats, and for a good reason: our captain said there’re 4 whale sharks in the area!

According to the original plan, we were meant to do the ‘skills’ first – that is, train how to clear your mask if it gets filled with water, perform emergency air sharing and rescue, take the mask on and off, compass skills etc. But because of the chance of seeing a whale shark, we’ve decided to do that later.

It was the first time we’ve descended using no line (the dives on Day 2 were done by holding on the rope that goes to the bottom. This allows to focus on the descent and learn to equalise). I found no problem with that at all, but my dive buddy had pain in her ears… she even thought of abandoning the rest of the course, but luckily she didn’t!

We were at 18m for about 40 minutes and saw a whale shark above us!

So this got me an SSI Open Water Diver certificate! I’m very excited to start my fun dives!

After the certification, we hired a double kayak with my buddy and went on to see the sunset.

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